This course is discontinued

STV4324 – The Politics of Poverty

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This course does not longer exist. For more information see STV4324B

Poverty is an intrinsic component of the daily struggles for survival of the more than one billion people in the developing world. Poverty is rising rapidly in Europe and Central Asia, and continuing to rise in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Asia, where most of the world’s poor live, the proportion in poverty has declined over the past two decades, but the recent Asian crisis has slowed down the progress and actually reverted it in some countries. Thus, with some exceptions, the world seems increasingly to be divided into clusters of countries, the worst of which seem to be caught in a ‘national poverty trap’. To what extent is this trap of the fault of domestic policies? What is the impact of foreign assistance in poverty reduction? How great are the disparities across countries and regions in terms of standard of living? What explains recurrent famines in certain regions and what is the role of public action in combating future famine threats? Finally, what has been the role of democratic politics in poverty reduction? Are certain regimes better equipped to eradicate poverty than others?

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Learning outcome

This course, given in collaboration with the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM-UiO), will also feature an online component. Lecture notes, Internet links and full-text documents will be posted regularly on the course website.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor 's Degree programme in Political Science or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor's Degree programme in Political Science or equivalent.


There will be given both lectures and seminars.


The form of assessment is a written essay (10-15 pages) and a 5 hour final exam. The essay and exam each count for 50%, and you will receive one overall grade for the course.

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Facts about this course




Autumn 2004


Autumn 2004

Teaching language